Of all the do-gooder organizations out there, the American Cancer Society ranks up near the top on my personal Pain-In-The-Ass Scale — and I say this as someone who has lost one wife to cancer, and am currently married to a cancer survivor.
The problem is that the ACS is always quick to warn (i.e. scold) people about the risks of getting cancer, when as any fule kno, Joe Jackson had it right: Everything Gives You Cancer. It’s the likelihood thereof that needs to be judged if one needs to modify one’s behavior.
So bullshit like this doesn’t help the cause at all:
New guidelines on cancer prevention recommend cutting out alcohol completely
Wait, what? But the details can be found somewhat further down the page:
In the United States, the ACS estimates that alcohol use accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers and 4 percent of all cancer deaths.
Right; so I have to give up something which gives me untold pleasure, makes good times with friends even better, and dulls the pain of everyday life — because there’s a 4% chance it may cause me to die from cancer: me, with no family history of cancer, who has never smoked nor worked with cancer-bearing substances of any kind?
And it gets worse:
“Alcohol use is one of the most important preventable risk factors for cancer, along with tobacco use and excess body weight,” according to the ACS.
Other significant changes included more physical activity and eating less processed and red meat — although the ACS also now recommends completely cutting processed and red meat from one’s diet, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and “highly processed foods and refined grain products.”
Cut out biltong too? For a 4% risk?
As Glenn Reynolds says: I’ll take my chances. Or as Oliver Reed once said: